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Security Breaches and Organization Response Strategy: Exploring Consumers’ Threat and Coping Appraisals

Ou, C.X.J. and Zhang, X. and Angelopoulos, S. and Davison, R.M. and Janse, N. (2022) 'Security Breaches and Organization Response Strategy: Exploring Consumers’ Threat and Coping Appraisals.', International Journal of Information Management, 65 . p. 102498.


We address a long-standing lacuna in the Information Management literature on the relationships among security breaches, organization response strategy as well as consumers’ threat and coping appraisal. Security breaches can involve the leak of sensitive data, and potentially lead to negative consumer reactions. It is, thus, timely and critical to theorize and empirically investigate the ways in which organization can respond effectively to security breaches and how consumers’ threat and coping appraisals vary according to the different response strategies. Our study addresses this lacuna by developing a conceptual model of i) security breach, ii) organization response strategies, and iii) consumer appraisal, grounded on the risk theory and protection motivation theory. We use the principal and agent perspectives to portray the breached organization as the agent providing the coping strategy, and consumers as the principal actors who evaluate the strategy. We incorporated a vignette-based survey to test the model with empirical data. We identify that the variations in the response strategy of organization after a security breach can lead to significantly different consumers’ reactions. We discuss the implications of our findings for theory and practice and delineate an agenda for future research.

Item Type:Article
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo until 12 September 2023.
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.
File format - PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:© 2022. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Date accepted:02 March 2022
Date deposited:07 March 2022
Date of first online publication:12 March 2022
Date first made open access:12 September 2023

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